Debate on President’s address: Dayanidhi Maran, Mahua Moitra hog prime time

DMK leader raises Tamil Nadu issues, Trinamool MP says ‘fascism is rising’

June 25, 2019 10:48 pm | Updated 10:53 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra.

Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra.

Falling water table and water shortage, farmers’ debt, process of updating of the National Register of Citizenship (NRC) and mob lynching were among the issues raised by Opposition leaders in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday during the debate on the President’s Address.

Former Union Minister and Dravida Munnetra Kazagham (DMK) member Dayanidhi Maran used the debate to lead a scathing attack on the Tamil Nadu government, calling it the “most corrupt” and the ruling AIADMK a “slave of the BJP”.

Mr. Maran’s comment against the AIADMK that has only one MP drew sharp reactions from the Treasury benches. When BJP members Nishikant Dubey and Rajiv Pratap Rudy pointed out that rules did not allow to speak about issues outside the President’s Address, the DMK member retorted by saying that it was the duty of “the Master to take care of the slaves”.

Protesting against the comment, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Meghwal asked the Chair to expunge it. Speaker Om Birla said any unparliamentary reference would be removed.

Mr. Maran asked the BJP to “introspect” why people of Tamil Nadu rejected it in the recent Lok Sabha election, and said the ruling party’s strength did not lie in itself but in the Opposition’s weakness. He accused the BJP of misusing agencies such as the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate and the Election Commission.

Apart from raising the issue of the National Education Policy that suggested the use of Hindi as one of the third languages, Mr. Maran focussed on the water scarcity in southern States. He said there were drought-like conditions in nearly half of India and an acute water crisis in Tamil Nadu, especially in Chennai, but the State government was complacent.

‘Narrow nationalism’

Claiming that there is a danger of “fascism rising in India”, Trinamool’s Mahua Moitra accused the government of pushing a brand of nationalism that was narrow.

“The first sign is a powerful and continuing nationalism that is being speared into our national fabric. It is superficial, it is xenophobic, it is narrow. It has a lust to divide. It is not a desire to unite,” she said.


Ms. Moitra targeted the process of updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC), a reference to which was made in President Ram Nath Kovind’s address on June 20, and said only one community was being targeted.

“Citizens are being thrown out of their homes and are being called illegal immigrants. People who have lived in this country for 50 years have to show a piece of paper to prove they are Indians. In a country where Ministers cannot produce degrees to show that they graduated from college, you expect dispossessed poor people to show papers as proof that they belong to this country,”she asked.

The Trinamool MP said the 2019 election was won on “WhatsApp, Fake News and manipulating minds.”

West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh countered by claiming that the citizens in West Bengal were suffering because of politics.

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